The Mitrokhin Commission was a parliamentary commission set up in 2002 by the Italian Parliament, then led by Silvio Berlusconi's center-right coalition, the Casa delle Libertà, and presided by Senator Paolo Guzzanti (Forza Italia). Its aim was to investigate alleged KGB ties to opposition figures in Italian politics, basing itself on one hand on the controversial Mitrokhin Archive, on the other hand on various other sources, including the consultant Mr. Mario Scaramella, who rose to international prominence in 2006 in the midst of the Alexander Litvinenko affair. Litvinenko was a former KGB agent poisoned in London in 2006.
The Mitrokhin Commission alleged, among other things, that Mr. Romano Prodi, former center-left Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, was the "KGB's man in Italy." Mr. Mario Scaramella was arrested in late December 2006 and charged with libel and illegal weapons' trade, while wiretapping of phone calls between Mr. Scaramella and Senator Guzzanti was published by the Italian press in late 2006, showing that the two planned to discredit various political opposition figures by claiming ties with the KGB.
The commission was disbanded in March 2006, without any concrete evidence given to support the original allegations of KGB ties to Italian politicians.
In five years, the Commission heard 47 witnesses, for a total cost of 1.9 million euros. Following various events, including the arrest in December 2006 of Mr. Mario Scaramella, a consultant of Paolo Guzzanti (paid 1.300 euros a month, not including additional work expenses), for defamation, as well as the April 2006 general election won by Mr. Romano Prodi's center-left coalition, L'Unione, the Italian parliament instituted a new commission to investigate the Mitrokhin Commission on allegations that it was manipulated for political purposes.
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“The Church seems to totter to its fall, almost all life extinct. On this occasion, any complaisance would be criminal which told you, whose hope and commission it is to preach the faith of Christ, that the faith of Christ is preached.”
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